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Assemblyman Concerned Over Taxpayers Footing the Bill for Illegal Behavior

Assemblyman John McKeon (D-Essex) today called on state Attorney General Paula Dow to investigate the allegations of widespread steroid abuse throughout New Jersey’s law enforcement and firefighting agencies as the Star Ledger is reporting in an ongoing series on the issue.

In his letter to Dow, McKeon noted the millions of dollars in insurance costs subsidized by state taxpayers for prescriptions that were, in many cases, issued illegally. The Assemblyman also noted that taxpayers are forced to foot the bill for the side effects of this abuse, which include health problems, as well as lawsuits arising from police brutality prompted by “roid rage.”

“These people should go to jail. They shouldn’t be on the public dole for substances that are, for the most part, illegal and might constitute insurance fraud. When only one in every 100,000 people suffers from adult growth hormone deficiency, there is no way such a disproportionate number of law enforcement officers would require the use of growth hormone supplements.

“The Attorney General herself has said that the state can ill afford to be footing these costs when many of these cases appear to be outright insurance fraud. Taxpayers in this state are far too overburdened to be forced to absorb the costs for this illegal behavior. I hope the state’s top law enforcement officer will conduct a prompt and thorough review of the matter to help root out this problem.”

McKeon is currently considering a number of legislative remedies to help crack down on the problem. A full copy of his letter to the Attorney General is attached.

December 13, 2010

Dear Attorney General Dow:

As you are well aware, the Star Ledger of Newark is in the process of running an extensive series detailing widespread reports of steroid abuse throughout New Jersey’s many law enforcement and firefighting agencies.

It is estimated that taxpayers have already footed millions of dollars in insurance bills for the many officers that have abused these substances, primarily by obtaining illegal or questionable prescriptions. Furthermore, there are other significant costs to bear between the negative health effects of these substances down the road, as well as the lawsuits that have arisen out of police brutality cases prompted by so-called “roid rage.”

Based on your comments in the series, I think we are both in agreement that this behavior is not only illegal and constitutes insurance fraud, but it also places an undue burden on our taxpayers who can little afford to bear these costs.

With that in mind, I am requesting that your office conduct a full-scale investigation into the extent of the problem and the possible avenues for prosecution as well as future prevention of such incidents. Our taxpayers deserve to know that their law enforcement officers are looking out for their best interests and conducting themselves in a manner becoming of the office they hold.

Your prompt and thorough attention to this matter is appreciated.


Assemblyman John McKeon